Jean-Paul Belmondo is no more…

Jean-Paul Belmondo died yesterday, at the age of 88.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/06/movies/jean-paul-belmondo-dead.html

A few quotes from this article published in the New York Times:

Later in his career Mr. Belmondo professed an unpretentious modesty, shrugging off his success, but at his box-office height in the 1960s, he was anything but modest. In an interview with the film critic Rex Reed in 1966, he all but sneered at American fans who were lining up to see his movies. “I do not blame them,” he said, puffing on a cigar and stretching out his long legs underneath a table at Harry’s Bar in Venice. “I am worth standing in line to see.”

***

More and more Mr. Belmondo became known for popular adventures, usually comic thrillers. And he became famous for elaborate stunts in which he took great pride in performing himself. He hung from skyscrapers, leapt across speeding trains, drove cars off hillsides. Co-stars said he seemed all but fearless. While shooting one scene in South America, he was warned that a river, into which he was about to plunge for a scene, was filled with poisonous snakes and piranha. Mr. Belmondo grabbed a chunk of corned beef and slung it into the murky water. When nothing happened, he jumped in and filmed the scene.

***

A year later the marriage had ended in divorce. Mr. Belmondo had three children with Ms. Constantin. The eldest, Patricia, died in a fire in 1994, but their younger daughter, Florence, and a son, Paul, survive him. The divorce was rumored to have resulted from a romance by Mr. Belmondo with one of his co-stars, Ursula Andress. He and Ms. Andress did have a long-term public relationship after the divorce. He was later romantically involved with another actress, Laura Antonelli. But not until 2002, when he was 70 years old, did he marry again, to 24-year-old Nathalie Tardivel. That marriage ended in divorce six years later. They had a daughter, Stella, who also survives him.

As a kid, I watched quite a few movies with Jean-Paul who at this time was at the peak of his career, notably L’As des As (Ace of Aces) and a few others. I will miss his bright smile — but I can still re-watch some of his best movies…

Jean-Paul Belmondo in Ace of Aces (L'As des As)

Vitosha mountain, the plateau above Kumata chalet — a short walk

Yesterday, it was Tuesday, just a regular day full of work and other tasks. But the kid suggested in the morning, “Hey dad, can we go see the nice plateau near Kumata chalet? After you have finished work?” and I said, “Sure, why not?”.

And so we went there — we reached the plateau right before sunset, after harvesting quite a few wild raspberries along the path leading up. :-) The air was clear and fresh, the raspberries were perfect, and the sunset was beautiful.

All in all, it was a very good idea to run away from the big city for a couple of hours! (And while high up in the mountains, we could forget all the bad news of late…)

While we were heading home, we saw a wild baby fox crossing our road carefully — we don’t have a photo proof of this but some things should better be kept in our hearts and memory, I think…

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Vitosha, the plateau above Kumata chalet

Soon, more “afternoon adventures” like this one, I hope. :-)

The Moon and the Earth

Recently I stumbled upon this interesting project — “Earth” (http://www.tobyord.com/earth).

“Only 24 people have journeyed far enough to see the whole Earth against the black of space. The images they brought back changed our world.
Here is a selection of the most beautiful photographs of Earth — iconic images and unknown gems — digitally restored to their full glory.
— Toby Ord”

The Earth from the Moon -- Apollo 8, 24-Dec-1968

Apollo 8 — ‘Earthrise’

One of the most famous photographs of all time, it was taken by Bill Anders and is the first colour earthrise.
It is displayed here it is in its original orientation, with North up. We can see night falling across Africa and clouds over Europe and the Americas.
Because it was one of the first photographs of Earth in public circulation and highlighted its fragility by contrast with the barren lunar surface, Earthrise became an environmentalist icon.

‘It was the most beautiful, heart-catching sight of my life, one that sent a torrent of nostalgia, of sheer homesickness, surging through me.’
— Frank Borman, Apollo 8

‘We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the earth.’
— Bill Anders, Apollo 8

Visit the project’s page to see more stunning images of our home as viewed from the Moon 50 years ago!